ABOUT THE AUTHOR
In Spring of 2018, my husband and I thought we were the happiest people in the world. We had a two year old daughter and were gleefully expecting another child. Our joy was bubbling over when, on the day of my twelve week prenatal appointment, we finally told our daughter the news. We were all smiles when she, quite excited and surprised, looked up at us and said, "Thank you!" You can imagine our horror, when one hour later, we stared at an ultrasound of our baby, who was beautiful but lifeless. As my world seemed to come to an abrupt halt, my daughter's mournful words echoed in my ear: "Why is the baby dead?"
I wrestled a lot coming to terms with my new reality. At one of my lowest moments, I angrily railed at God for not leaving me with any comfort. As my mind quieted down, I heard in my heart the words that would become My Sibling Still. I immediately wrote them down. As I unpacked the message of comfort for my daughter, I realized that the message was for me too. Our relationship with our baby, a son that we named Jessie, had not ended at his death. He was with us in a new way, a different way, and as much as we loved and longed for him, he loved and longed for us. He was still our daughter's brother; he was still our son.
I have always loved creative writing. I graduated from Tulane University with a double major in English and Musical Theatre. Among the various projects I have embarked on, this one has been the closest to my heart. It is my deep hope that My Sibling Still will be a healing resource for families who have suffered through the sorrow of losing a child. I hope it will be a source of comfort, a conversation starter, and a way of remembering the little ones who have left a mark on our lives forever.
Author of My Sibling Still
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR
In 2013, when my son was very young, my wife and I decided that we wanted another child. Having a baby girl was my wife’s heart’s desire. Naturally, my wife loves everything “girly”. Pink rooms, big pink bows, pink babies, the color pink. You can imagine how excited she was when we found out she was pregnant.
One day at a doctor’s visit, as my wife lay excitedly and I sat patiently, we were getting ready to hear our newest baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I remember as I sat, watching the doctor smear that jelly stuff over my wife’s belly, I thought of how powerful listening to a baby’s heartbeat for the first time was. I thought of how exciting and amazing it was when we heard our son’s heartbeat for the first time. The rapid thuds of my son’s heartbeat brought tears to my eyes. Life, is all I thought of. Every rapid beat of my son’s heart was filled with life. I cried. But this time everything was different… As I watched the doctor rub the Fetal Doppler over the cold-looking blue jelly, I noticed it took a little longer to find the heartbeat.
We told ourselves that everything would be fine and looked forward to our next appointment. Because this next appointment would be another checking of the heartbeat. I’m sure my wife walked into that appointment with stars in her eyes, glowing like an illuminated bulb. But this next appointment was different.
She called me, crying. I could barely understand her. “We lost our baby,” I thought she said. Did she really say that? I was confused at first. I was mostly in shock. All I could hear were the cries of my wife. I will never understand how it feels for a mother to lose a child. But I do know, as a father, how much it hurts. Having been through the experience myself, I feel very blessed to have worked on the art for My Sibling Still.
Illustrator of My Sibling Still
For more on Joshua’s art and his book series, The Last Legend, visit his website at www.thelastlegendawakened.com.